Picture a gardening day: A heated sun is shining in your naked palms. Your sharpened shovel lifts gentle soil as you plant the primary tomatoes right into a weed-loose bed. Flowering residences of marigolds and begonias sit down nearby, looking ahead to your tasteful placement. The birds are chirping …
It’s May, at remaining!
Here is the darker photo: The month of May isn’t all merry. There are hard rainfalls, thunderstorms, and some frosty nights. The rain gives the weeds a massive head start and washes out the seeds you planted. Your clay soil remains cakey and too wet to stroll on. On the first warm days the wind blasts you so it isn’t fun to be out there, and the small biting flies attack your ankles and ears. And you forgot to sharpen your shovel.
“Why do I do that?” you observed.
Work with fact
In mid- to late spring, gardeners have to be flexible about the chores and the pleasures of gardening. May affords both extremes, from the euphoric joy of that balmy day to the misery of bloodless, moist climate (frequently on the best day you have free to work outside).
Here is my guide for gardening inside the actual international. It’s all about timing and the order of things.
1. Pick up the last particles, at the same time as no longer on foot on moist soil. Let twigs, small leaves, and evergreen needles stay in the vicinity where plants will soon hide them. (Organic be counted decomposes and provides to the soil.)
2. Look at the design of your yard. See the shape of beds and lawn – at the same time as the plants are small and naked. Use a rope or hose to configure new or installed beds. If you are taking out sod, use it to patch bare spots or begin a compost pile.
3. Improve the soil. If your vegetation had been disappointing closing yr, get a soil test from a nursery or Cooperative Extension. Mix compost into heavy soil. If acid-loving vegetation along with rhododendrons looks yellowish and sickly, use sulfur-based acidic soil amendments. Fill new beds with pinnacle-pleasant lawn soil (now not just any antique topsoil). Apply sluggish-release organic fertilizer if performance has been poor.
4. Remove or block weeds. Home gardeners do now not need herbicides. Pull or dig perennial weeds consisting of mugworts and dandelions. (Many so-referred to as weeds have value for ourselves or other creatures, but you may no longer want them anywhere.) If you couldn’t dig them out, you may smother huge patches of persistent weeds (goutweed, creeping Charlie, lesser celandine). Use thick black plastic, cardboard, and newspaper, included by way of extra appealing mulch.
5. Be careful around perennials. Some are very slow to show up to do now not walk or dig around their fragile crowns. If you are renovating a place, carry and report perennial clumps to preserve for destiny placement.
6. Ease up at the mulch. Don’t crowd the base of woody vegetation with mulch, don’t contact the tree trunks with it and hold it off the emerging perennials. Mulch is good for blocking off weeds, preserving soil moisture and making a neat look, but an excessive amount of can smother plants or preserve rain from attaining roots. Gardeners can wait till summer to mulch (and don’t just do it at all).
7. Shop with timing in thoughts. Scout lawn centers early, however, apprehend: They might not have acquired plant shipments and cannot get all flowers out of winter storage but. Many florae aren’t hardened-off and equipped for outside temperatures. Garden facilities can’t and ought to now not offer every smooth annual and vegetable but. If they promote them to you, it needs to be with facts about hardiness.
8. The order of planting. Plant woody vegetation any time the soil is manageable – and do it nicely, with extensive holes or improved beds. Plant hardened-off perennials when the soil crumbles on your hands. Plant bloodless-season greens asap (salad greens) however wait until the soil appears like fifty-five stages for warm-season greens (tomatoes, vine crops, beans) and tender annuals. Decorate with cool-climate annuals in the meantime.
9. Care for the bulbs. (The cool weeks provided a notable bulb display this yr!) Two alternatives as flowering bulbs decline: Cut lower back the flower stalks however permit the leaves to develop till they finally yellow. Or carry and pot the vegetation to care for them in a less seen spot.
10. Prepare gear and hoses. Clean and sharpen (including lawn mower blades) equipment. Test hoses for leaks.